It Follows (2014)

The main point of comparison for most people reviewing It Follows is Halloween. Undeniably, David Robert Mitchell’s debut feature, an insidious, diamond-sharp indie horror flick, draws heavily from John Carpenter’s classic. That’s apparent from its opening frame, an image of an American suburban street whose expansive front lawns carpeted by auburn autumn leaves could be…

Canon Will Eat Itself: Alien and Other Modern Icons

District 9 director Neil Blomkamp kicked up a fuss yesterday when it was reported that his upcoming Alien sequel would break continuity from the last two films of the franchise, Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection. Blomkamp has since stepped back from that assertion – “I’m not trying to undo Alien 3 or Alien: Resurrection, I just…

John Carpenter’s Lost Themes

The transition from acting to music is a familiar career path, particularly if you take into account the cast of Neighbours, but it’s rare to see a well-known film director dabble in professional musicianship. John Carpenter’s debut album, Lost Themes, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, however, given he’s accumulated more than 22 credits…

They Live (1988)

They Live (1988)

They Live is a hodge-podge of sci-fi satire, B-movie maximalism and cheesy humour that spends half its time succeeding on its own merits, and the other half venturing into so-bad-it’s-good territory. The film’s highlights are of a piece with director John Carpenter’s great horror films (Halloween, The Thing), as Nada (Roddy Piper) stumbles onto the…

Texas Chainsaw (2013)

I’ll give Texas Chainsaw this – it’s a very different take on remaking a classic horror film. The 2003 remake of Tobe Hooper’s classic was essentially a repackage of the main plot points (basically: Leatherface kills people), modernized with a higher budget and more attractive cast but none of the twisted charm of the original…

You're Next (2013)

Double Feature: Halloween (1978) and You’re Next (2013)

Halloween may not been the first masked killer movie (arriving four years after Leatherface), but the implacable Michael Myers’ shadow stretches long across the genre; establishing many significant tropes (the killer is invulnerable until he is unmasked. A perfunctory backstory that doesn’t disguise how the masked man – it’s always a man – stands in…